|Publication number||US7285765 B2|
|Application number||US 11/622,971|
|Publication date||Oct 23, 2007|
|Filing date||Jan 12, 2007|
|Priority date||Sep 5, 1995|
|Also published as||DE69637703D1, DE69637898D1, EP0762504A2, EP0762504A3, EP0762504B1, EP1511083A2, EP1511083A3, EP1511083B1, EP1930949A2, EP1930949A3, EP2317556A2, EP2317556A3, US5914485, US6297493, US6664527, US7170042, US7381938, US7635835, US7915573, US8274033, US20010025916, US20040108463, US20070114363, US20080001091, US20080224058, US20100108899, US20110147598|
|Publication number||11622971, 622971, US 7285765 B2, US 7285765B2, US-B2-7285765, US7285765 B2, US7285765B2|
|Inventors||Isao Kobayashi, Noriyuki Kaifu, Shinichi Takeda, Kazuaki Tashiro, Tadao Endo, Toshio Kameshima|
|Original Assignee||Canon Kabushiki Kaisha|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (26), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (4), Classifications (44), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a division of application Ser. No. 10/703,513, filed Nov. 10, 2003 now U.S. Pat No. 7,170,042, which is a division of application Ser. No. 09/853,683, filed May 14, 2001 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,664,527 dated Dec. 16, 2003), which is a division of application Ser. No. 09/310,122, filed May 12, 1999 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,297,493 dated Oct. 2, 2001) which is a division of application Ser. No. 08/708,490, filed Sep. 5, 1996 (now U.S. Pat. No. 5,914,485 dated Jun. 22, 1999). The related applications are incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a photoelectric converter, and in particular, to a two-dimensional photoelectric converter that is used for facsimile machines, digital copy machines, and X-ray machines.
2. Related Background Art
Conventionally, a scanning system that employs a reducing optical system and a CCD sensor is used for a scanning apparatus, such as a facsimile machine or a digital copy machine. Recently, however, as a consequence of the development of photoelectric conversion semiconductor material, such as amorphous silicon (hereinafter referred to as a-Si), a so-called close-contact sensor has been developed for which a photoelectric conversion device and a signal processor are formed on a large substrate, and by which data are scanned by using an optical system that has the same magnification rate as that of a data source. Furthermore, since a-Si can be employed not only as a photoelectric conversion material but also as a thin film field-effect transistor film (hereinafter referred to as a TFT), both a photoelectric conversion semiconductor layer and a TFT semiconductor layer can be formed at the same time.
The basic structure of a photoelectric converter that uses a-Si is described in the specification for U.S. Pat. No. 4,376,888, or in Japanese Patent Publication No. 62-23944, or Japanese Patent Publication No. 63-6617.
A specific example for the integral forming of an a-Si photosensor and an a-Si TFT is described in the specifications for U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,931,661, 5,338,690 and 5,306,648.
Based on the techniques disclosed in these specifications, the present inventors produced as a sample photoelectric converter a two-dimensional area type in which the number of pixels was drastically increased. The outline of the photoelectric converter will now be described while referring to
In another example, shown in
Though not shown, in an additional example, lines g1 through g100, g201 through g300, . . . , and g1801 through g1900 are provided on the left side (L), while lines g101 through g200, g301 through g400, . . . , and g1901 through g2000 are provided on the right side (R). In other words, it is possible for contiguous control lines to be distributed to each chip and for these chips to be alternately sorted to the left side and to be right side (to L and to R). With this arrangement, the control lines for a single chip can be controlled sequentially, the adjustment and the setup of drive timing can be facilitated, a circuit does not become complicated, and an inexpensive IC can be used. The same arrangement can be applied for upper and the down sides (U and D), and an inexpensive IC that can perform a continuous process can be used.
Further, if the selection of control lines (scanning) is so designed that it is performed in the order corresponding to the direction indicated by arrow AL1 in
Two types of ICs are prepared for which the orders in which output terminals are located differ, and ICs of one type are arranged on the left side (L), while ICs of the other type are arranged on the right side (R). However, the manufacture of two types of ICs, even though their basic operations are the same, results in higher manufacturing costs.
The above described shortcomings not only apply to scan circuits, but also apply to detection ICs (IC-1 through IC-20) for the output of read signals in a time series.
It is a second object of the present invention to provide better throughput to accompany an improved efficiency for an inspection procedure during fabrication of photoelectric converters having large dimensions, and to reduce total manufacturing costs that accompany a reduction in the number of components.
It is a third object of the present invention to provide an enhanced function for a photoelectric converter having large dimensions by scanning all of the photoelectric conversion devices in the same direction, and by simplifying signal processing.
It is a fourth object of the present invention to provide a photoelectric converter wherein one type of IC can be easily mounted on all sides, upper, down, right and left (U, D, R and L), of a photoelectric conversion device array.
To achieve the above objects, according to a first aspect of the present invention, a photoelectric converter comprises:
a plurality of substrates, which are located adjacent to each other and on which a plurality of photoelectric conversion-devices are two-dimensionally arranged;
either scan circuits or detection circuits, at least, that are arranged on two opposing sides of the photoelectric converter, whereby scanning directions either from the scan circuits or from the detection circuits, which are arranged on the two opposing sides, are capable of being set so as to be performed in like directions.
Furthermore, to achieve the above objects according to a second aspect of the present invention, provided is a photoelectric converter wherein four substrates on which a plurality of photoelectric conversion devices are arranged two-dimensionally are so bonded together two-dimensionally, with two each in a vertical direction and in a horizontal direction, that the photoelectric conversion devices are located adjacent to each other on a plane; wherein, from among the four substrates that are bonded together, two substrates that are not adjacent to each other have such a positional relationship that substrates having the same structure are rotated 180° relative to each other on a plane; and wherein the substrates are scanned in the same direction.
According to a third aspect of the present invention, provided is a photoelectric converter wherein a plurality of substrates, on which photoelectric conversion devices are two-dimensionally mounted, are so located and bonded together that the photoelectric conversion devices are located adjacent to each other on a plane; and wherein the plurality of substrates are bonded together at the same locations as those when semiconductor layers are deposited that serve as the photoelectric conversion devices for each of the substrates.
Further, as it is possible to improve the efficiency of an inspection procedure and the throughput that accompanies it, and to reduce the number of required components, and as a result, the cost of manufacturing a photoelectric converter having large dimensions can be reduced.
In addition, since all of the photoelectric conversion devices can be scanned in the same direction and signal processing can be performed at a high speed by a simple device, the cost of manufacturing the photoelectric converter can be reduced, while the function of the photoelectric converter can be improved.
Furthermore, a photoelectric converter wherein the amount of incident light can be detected, as the photoelectric conversion device has only one introduction prevention layer, can be provided at a low price; the optimizing of the process is easy and the yielding ratio can be increased; the manufacturing cost can be reduced; and the SN ratio is high.
The exposure apparatus that employs the above converter differs from conventional X-ray film in that it can project its output very quickly, and in that image processing and data storage are also possible. It has better sensitivity than the film, and a clear image can be obtained with a weak X-ray that will have little adverse effect on a human body.
When the substrates are bonded in consonance with the locations of the substrates when the film is deposited, the characteristics of the photoelectric conversion devices on different substrates that are at the least located at positions adjacent to each other on different substrates can be sequentially equalized.
As the feature of the photoelectric converter shown in
Two diagonally located substrates have the same structures.
Further, when the scanning direction, indicated by arrows in
Located on each substrate 100 are 1000×1000 photoelectric devices that are connected to 2000 lines, i.e., 1000 control lines g1 through g1000 and 1000 signal lines sig1 through sig1000. And as there are 100 scan circuits SR1 formed on a single IC chip, there are a total of 10 IC chips SR1 through SR1-10 located on the substrate 100, the individual terminals of each IC chip being connected to the respective control lines g1 through g1000.
As for the detection integrated circuits, 100 processing circuits are formed on a single IC chip, with 10 detection integrated circuit chips, IC-1 through IC-10, being located on each substrate and with the individual terminals of each IC chip being connected to the signal lines sig1 through sig1000. The substrate 150 has the same structured as the substrate 100, and has 1000×1000 photoelectric conversion devices arranged on it that are connected to 1000 control lines and 1000 signal lines. Also provided are 10 of the scan circuits and 10 of the detection integrated circuits. Although for each substrate these scan circuits and the integrated circuits may differ, it is preferable that a single type of IC be used for all the substrates, as will be described later. Thus, the four photoelectric conversion device arrays on the four substrates can be scanned at the same time. In this case, when compared with the example shown in
The photoelectric device arrays are fabricated on the four substrates, as is shown in
Specifically, when the area of the photoelectric converter in
In such a photoelectric converter, a short circuit or an open circuit in a control line or in a signal line causes all of the output signals of the photoelectric conversion devices connected to the line to become inaccurate, and the photoelectric converter can not be employed. The possibility of the occurrence of such a defect is substantially proportional to the total length of all the control lines and signal lines, and as a result of such a defect, the yielding ratio will be reduced.
Therefore, a yielding ratio due to a defect in the wiring for each substrate in
As is shown in
The scan circuits and the integrated detection circuits, which are mounted on the four substrates, can be driven bidirectionally, and the circuits are employed in the shift direction that is determined by the input of a signal for specifying the shift direction, so that the four substrates arranged in
Therefore, a photoelectric converter having large dimensions and high performance can be provided at a low manufacturing cost.
As is shown in
The structure of the scan circuit shown in
The scan circuit includes AND gates, which are provided in a number that is equivalent to the count of the output lines, select switches SW1, two-stage delay flip-flops (D flip-flops) FF1 and FF2, and select switches SSW1 and SSW2.
When a high level voltage is applied, as a signal for specifying a shift direction, to terminal DIR, the select switches SSW1, SSW2 and SW1 are shifted to high (H). In consonance with a shift pulse, which is input at input/output terminal SIN/SOUT on the left side (L20) in
The operation for performing shift in the opposite direction will now be described. When a low level voltage is applied in the shift direction to control terminal DIR, the select switches SSW2, SW1 and SSW1 are shifted to low (L).
When a shift pulse is input at the input/output terminal SOUT/SIN on the right side (R) in
The operation performed by the converter in
Depending on whether a chip is mounted on the substrate 100 or on the substrate 150, the order in which the terminals of the chips that are connected to the gate lines or the signal lines of the photoelectric conversion device array are physically located, and the direction in which the chips are shifted are reversed.
The shift directions for the IC chips shown in
The scan circuits that are mounted on the upper left hand substrate 100 and the lower left hand substrate 150 are so determined that when a high voltage is applied to the terminal DIR the shift direction is toward the control lines g1, g2, . . . , and g100.
On the other hand, the scan circuits that are mounted on the upper right hand substrate 150 and the lower right hand substrate 100 are so determined that when a low voltage is applied to the terminal DIR the shift direction is toward the control lines g100, g99, . . . , and g1.
The scan select signals from the IC chips are output from the upper and lower left hand substrates in the order SR1-1 to SR1-10, while they are output from the upper and lower right hand substrates in the order SR1-10 to SR1-1.
Similarly, a high level pulse is input at the terminal CONT of the detection IC chips that are mounted on the upper right and left hand substrates in
On the other hand, a low level pulse is input at the terminals CONT of the detection IC chips that are mounted on the lower right and left hand substrates in
The outputs of the individual chips on the upper right and left hand substrates are performed in a time series in the order IC-1 to IC-10, while the outputs of the chips on the lower right and left hand substrates are performed in a time series in the order IC-10 to IC-1.
There are four methods for mounting IC chips which can be employed for the photoelectric converter of the present invention. They are: a chip-on-glass system (COG method) for mounting chips directly on four substrates using a flip-chip system; a method (a TAB method) for employing a tape carrier package IC with which chips are connected to and mounted on a flexible printed wiring substrate; a wire bonding method for arranging IC chips on four substrates; and a monolithic integration method for fabricating scan circuits and detection circuits on the same substrate by using a thin semiconductor film that constitutes a photoelectric conversion device. When the size of an IC chip is too large to ignore and the size of the external region (external frame) of a photoelectric conversion device array is to be reduced, the use of the TAB method, with which a substrate can be bent, is preferable. According to the TAB method, it is preferable that control lines or signal lines be connected to the terminals of a tape carrier package IC by using an anisotropic conductive adhesive.
The four substrates can be laminated with a mothersubstrate having large dimensions that is made of glass, ceramic, metal or resin, and bonded together.
The feature of the photoelectric converter shown in
When the photoelectric converter of the present invention having large dimensions of the present invention is employed for an X-ray machine for human breasts, the shape in a plane of the photoelectric conversion portion may be a rectangle, as in the second embodiment.
In this case, also, paired substrates are so formed that each of them has the same pattern, and that on each of them the same scan circuits and detection integrated circuits are mounted. The resultant two substrates are rotated 180° and are bonded together with as small a gap as possible between them, so as to constitute a photoelectric converter having large dimensions. As a result, the number of required components can be reduced. The inspection procedure can be performed by two types of devices, and the efficiency of the inspection procedure and the accompanying throughput can be increased. As a result, the cost of manufacturing a photoelectric converter having large dimensions can be reduced.
The scan circuits and the detection integrated circuits that are mounted on the four substrates can be driven bidirectionally, and circuits can be employed for which the shift directions are determined by the input of signals specifying the shift directions, so that the four substrates arranged in
As the feature of the photoelectric converter shown in
Located on each substrate 100 are 1000×1000 photoelectric devices that are connected to 2000 lines, i.e., 1000 control lines g1 through g1000 and 1000 signal lines sig1 through sig1000. And as there are 100 scan circuits formed on a single IC chip, there are a total of 10 IC chips SR1 through SR1-10 located on the substrate 100 and are connected to the respective control lines g1 through g1000.
As for the integrated detection circuits, 100 processing circuits are integrated on a single IC chip, so that 10 IC chips, IC-1 through IC-10, are located on the substrate 100 and are connected to the signal lines sig1 through sig1000. The other substrates 200, 300 and 400 have the same structure as the substrate 100. Arranged on them are 1000×1000 photoelectric conversion devices that are connected to 1000 control lines and 1000 signal lines. Also provided are 10 of the scan circuits and 10 of the integrated detection circuits. Although these scan circuits and the integrated circuits may be same or may differ for each substrate, it is preferable that the above described ICs that can be driven bidirectionally be used for all the substrates. The four photoelectric conversion device arrays on the four substrates can be scanned at the same time. In this case, when compared with the example shown in
Since generally a device for a parallel flat plate that ejects gas through holes in one of its electrodes is employed as a plasma CVD device, the film deposition speed tends to vary at the center of the substrates and at the center of the electrodes. On the other hand, an amorphous semiconductor layer, such as an amorphous silicon layer, is deposited on the four substrates as arranged shown in
As is shown in
The feature of the photoelectric converter shown in
Furthermore, as well as in the first through the third embodiments, since the scan circuits and detection integrated circuits that are mounted on the two substrates can be driven bidirectionally, the two photoelectric converters that are arranged as is shown in
According to a fifth embodiment, provided is an X-ray machine in which a fluoresent member is provided on the photoelectric conversion device in the first to the fourth embodiment.
The basic structure on the substrate is one wherein a light emitting layer that absorbs a high energy beam and generates visual radiation is provided on the light entering side in
A combination of this detector, which replaces an X-ray film, and an X-ray generator constitutes an X-ray machine that can be used for roentgen screening of breasts, or for examinations for mammary cancer. Unlike X-ray films, this X-ray detector can immediately display its output on a CRT, and the output can also be converted into digital output, for which image processing is performed by a computer, so that the output can be converted into an output that is consonant with the purpose of the device. The output data can be stored on a magneto-optical disk, and a quick search for previous images can be performed. The sensitivity of the detector is better than that of film, and a clear image can be provided by using an X-ray that has less adverse effect on a human body.
The method for driving a photoelectric conversion device array that is employed for the present invention will now be explained while referring to
The portion that is enclosed by broken lines in
First, a high level pulse is applied to control lines g1 through g3 and s1 through s3 by the scan circuits SR1 and SR2. When the transfer TFTs T11 through T33, and switches M1 through M3 are rendered on and become conductive, and the electrodes D of all the light-receiving devices S11 through S33 acquire a GND potential as a reference potential because the input terminal of an integrating amplifier Amp is designed to be a GND potential. At the same time, when the refresh controller RF outputs a high level pulse and the SWg is turned on, the electrodes G of all the light-receiving devices S11 through S33 acquire a positive potential from the refresh power source Vg. Then, all of the light-receiving devices S11 through S33 are placed in the refresh mode and are refreshed. Sequentially, when the refresh controller RF outputs a low level pulse and SWs is turned on, the electrodes G of all the light-receiving devices S11 through S33 acquire a negative potential from the reading power source Vs. The light-receiving devices S11 through S33 are placed in a photoelectric conversion mode, and at the same time, the capacitors C11 through C33 are initialized. While the device is in this condition, a low level pulse is applied to the control lines g1 through g3 and s1 through s3 by the scan circuits SR1 and SR2. Then, the transfer TFTs T11 through T33 and the switches M1 through M3 are rendered off, and the electrodes D of all the light-receiving devices S11 through S33 are opened, but with their potentials being held by the capacitors C11 through C33.
Since no light beam is received at this time, no light is transmitted to the light-receiving devices S11 through S33 and a photocurrent does not flow across them. In this condition, a light beam pulse is emitted and is transmitted to the light-receiving devices S11 through S33 via an object to be exposed. An induced photocurrent that flows due to this light is stored as electric charges in the capacitors C11 through C33, and the electric charges are held therein after the transmission of a light beam has been completed.
Following this, a high level control pulse is applied to the control line g1 by the scan circuit SR1, and a control pulse is applied to the control lines s1 through s3 by the scan circuit SR2. Then, v1 through v3 are sequentially output via the switches M1 through M3 for the transfer TFTs T11 through T33. Similarly, the other light signals are sequentially output under the control of the scan circuits SR1 and SR2. Two-dimensional photo data are converted into electric signals v1 through v9. A static image is obtained by performing the above processing, while a moving image is obtained by repeating the above processing.
In this photoelectric converter, since the electrodes G of the light-receiving devices are connected in common, and the line that is used in common is connected to both the refresh power source Vg and the reading power source Vs via the switches SWg and SWs, respectively, to control the potentials of the electrodes G, all of the light-receiving devices can be switched to the refresh mode and to the photoelectric conversion mode at the same time. Therefore, light output can be obtained by using one TFT for each pixel and without requiring a complicated control system.
Instead of the X-ray film that is used in a conventional X-ray machine, a combination of the photoelectric converter of the present invention and an X-ray generator can constitute an innovative X-ray machine that can be used for roentgen screening of breasts and the examinations for mammary cancers. Unlike the X-ray film, the output can be immediately displayed on a CRT, and the output can also be converted into digital output, for which image processing is performed by a computer, so that the output can be converted into an output that is consonant with the purpose for which intended. The output data can be stored on a magneto-optical disk, and a search for previous images can be instituted without delay. The sensitivity provided is better than that for film, and a clear image can be provided by using an X-ray has less adverse effect on a human body.
A photoconductive device or a photovoltaic device is employed as the light-receiving device for the photoelectric converter of the present invention. For a reason that will be described later, however, the photoelectric conversion device shown in
The processing will now be briefly described. As is shown in
It is, however, difficult for the above described photosensor to be employed to produce a photoelectric converter having a high SN ratio and a low manufacturing cost. An explanation of the reasons will now be given.
The first reason is that the PIN photosensor in
The same principle can be applied to the Schottky photosensor in
Since the introduction prevention layer must be deposited at two places, productivity is degraded and manufacturing costs are increased. Since the characteristics of the introduction prevention layer are important, a photosensor wherein a defect occurs in even one of these layers can not provide the characteristics required for a photosensor.
The second reason will now be described while referring to
When a conventional photosensor is to be formed on the same substrate as the TFT, the above described layer structure becomes a problem, and results in an increase in manufacturing costs and in the degrading of the characteristics. This is because the structures of the photosensors in
In the Schottky photosensor in
Further, though not shown, it is difficult for a capacity device (hereafter referred to as a capacitor), which is a device that is required for obtaining the integral values of electric charges or of a current, to be fabricated so that it has the same structure as that of the photosensor, and so that it has a preferable characteristic for reducing leakage. Since the capacitor stores electric charges between two electrodes, a layer for preventing the movement of electrons and hole carriers must be formed as an intermediate layer between the electrodes. However, since the conventional photosensor uses only a semiconductor layer between the electrodes, it is difficult to obtain an intermediate layer that has a preferable characteristic for thermally reducing leakage.
As is described above, the processing and the characteristics of the TFT and the capacitor, which are important devices for a photoelectric converter, do not correspond with each other. Because of this problem, procedures are increased and are made more complicated for the fabrication of a system wherein a plurality of photosensors are two-dimensionally arranged and light signals are sequentially detected. This results in a deterioration of the yielding ratio, and prevents the production of a device having a low manufacturing cost and high performance and multiple functions.
On the other hand, the above shortcoming can be resolved by using the photoelectric device previously described while referring to
In the above described embodiment shown in
However, in the device array on the upper right hand substrate 150, signal detection can not be performed only for devices that are located at the intersections of the 100 control lines, g1, g2, . . . , and g100, and the 100 signal lines sig1, sig2, . . . , and sig100. When only signals for the devices at the intersections are to be reproduced, signals are read from all the devices on the upper right hand substrate 150, and then only the required signals are reproduced.
In a photoelectric converter in the following embodiment, scan circuit chips and detection chips include a decoder, and a control line and a signal line to be selected are determined based on address data received from a controller, with only a terminal that is connected to these selected lines being selected.
A controller CRL selectively supplies, via wiring circuits DB1 and DB2, address data for a photoelectric device, which is to be selected for scanning, to chips CP1 and CP2 that have terminals which correspond to the address data. Upon the receipt of the address data, the chips CP1 or CP2 decode the data and enable the terminals that are to be selected. In this manner, a masking process is easily performed wherein only signals from a photoelectric conversion device that is located in a required region are reproduced.
As is described above, since each chip has a decoder, the scan selector chips having the same structure can be located on either the right or the left hand side. This can be applied for the IC detection chips.
Further, since the decoder is included, a plurality of control lines can be selected at the same time, or the chips can be selected for scanning by skipping a predetermined number of lines. This can be applied for the IC detection chips.
For example, while a group of 5×5 adjacent photoelectric conversion devices are regarded as one unit, a 40 cm×40 cm array that is constituted by 2000×2000 photoelectric conversion devices is treated as a 400×400 array of 1 mm×1 mm unit pixels (5×5 photoelectric conversion device group). Signals can be detected by sequentially scanning these unit pixels.
In this case, the output signal of the unit pixels is an averaged value for 5×5 photoelectric conversion devices.
As is described above, according to the present invention, it is possible during the fabrication process to reduce the manufacturing cost of a photoelectric converter having large dimensions by increasing a yielding ratio for each substrate, and by reducing losses due to defects on each substrate.
Further, according to the present invention, it is possible to improve the throughput by providing improved efficiency on an inspection procedure that is performed during the fabrication of a photoelectric converter having large dimensions, and to reduce the total manufacturing cost by reducing the number of components.
In addition, according to the present invention, it is possible to enhance the function of a photoelectric converter having large dimensions by scanning all of the photoelectric conversion devices in the same direction and by simplifying the signal processing.
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|U.S. Classification||250/208.1, 348/E03.032, 358/483, 257/E27.131, 257/E27.146, 348/E05.086, 257/444, 250/370.09|
|International Classification||H04N5/369, H01L27/144, H04N5/32, H04N5/378, H01L31/10, H01L27/146, H01L31/0232, H04N5/372, H04N5/365, H04N5/341, H01L27/14, H04N5/335, H04N5/374, H01J40/14|
|Cooperative Classification||H01L27/14676, H04N5/3415, H04N5/32, H01L27/14643, H01L27/14609, H01L27/1462, H01L27/14659, H01L27/1446, H04N3/1593, H01L27/14603, H01L27/14663, H01L27/14658|
|European Classification||H01L27/146A4, H04N5/341A, H01L27/146F, H01L27/144R, H01L27/146F5D, H01L27/146F5I, H01L27/146A2, H01L27/146P5, H04N5/32, H04N3/15J|
|Sep 30, 2008||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Mar 24, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jun 5, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|